“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16
Sometimes I just try to let the first part of that verse sink in: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Doesn’t that sound so lovely? So refreshing and at the same time empowering? I wanted to dive deeper, to learn more of what it means to dwell richly. The following is what I have learned. I pray it will bless and encourage all who read.
Although it may seem backwards, my mind first focused on the word “dwell.” I wanted to really consider the meaning of this word and found the Greek word used in this verse was “Enoikeo,” which means to live in or inhibit. To put it this way, the word of Christ is to live in us, to inhabit us; to take up residence in our hearts and minds. It is to be a part of us forever!
And not only are we to allow the word of Christ to dwell in us, but to dwell richly. This Greek word “Plousios,” means generously or abundantly. The word of Christ is to live in us abundantly. However, the only way this can happen is if we are in the word regularly, asking the Holy Spirit to press it into our hearts and minds. Dear readers, I know this is not always our desire. But please know that it is more than okay to ask God for the desire for His word. Know that you can boldly ask Him to give you passion for the word of Christ and for the Spirit to give you understanding of what you read. He will do it!
Finally, I revisited the phrase “word of Christ” as this is the subject of what is to live within us generously. Jesus himself is the Word and the entire written word is about him. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is the Truth and from Genesis to Revelation he is proclaimed. In light of this it struck me that at the beginning of Colossians 3 Paul reminded us of the good news of the gospel- that we have been raised with Christ, hidden with Christ, and that Christ is our life! The middle verses of the chapter call us then to put to death the things of the old self and to put on the things of the new self; to be renewed in the knowledge of our Creator. This is the word of Christ which is to inhabit us abundantly! It is a beautiful command with a beautiful result.
The remainder of verse 16 tells us that the word of Christ dwelling richly results in teaching, admonishing in wisdom, and singing hymns with thanksgiving. Because isn’t it true that what dwells in us comes out of us? Whatever we put into our minds- what we see and read with our eyes, what we listen to with our ears- is what comes out of our mouths and is displayed in our actions. This begs us to ask ourselves the following question: What am I allowing to inhabit me- the word, or the world? As 1 John 2:15-17 makes clear, these are the two choices from which we chose.
I pray that God will give us, His people, a great hunger and desire for Christ and his word. May it be our greatest aim for the truth of the gospel to reign supremely in our hearts and minds so that all we say and do will be a reflection of what dwells in us so richly. To the glory of God alone may it be so.